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Old 03-23-2012, 02:23 PM   #7

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Default Re: (new post) What can I do to become a video game writer?

1. I don't have a problem starting out writing reviews or something.
2. I posted before and it wasn't a good post, so I'm posting again.
3. Where do I start?
4. How do I become a game writer?
5. I know it's a competitive industry, but writers probably have a beter chance to get in the industry than designers or artists, right?
6. Do I start contacting game companies?
7. And I also know that I won't start out writing dialog for AAA titles and I don't care If I start writing for the smallest video game company.
8. I do know that freelance writers get positions as scriptwriters, but I want a full time position at a company.
9. Should I write more stories?
1. I agree with Tom. If you want a job as a games journo, write reviews or features. If you want a job as a strategy writer, write strategy guides. If you want a job as a game writer, write for games. You can do all of the above, of course. But you won't be hired to write FOR a game based on how well you can write ABOUT a game.

2. Being succinct, concise and clear is something you'll definitely need to learn. As writers we tend to be verbose. Most people don't want to read a wall of text in a video game. Make it count.

3. Probably by accepting all of the advice provided in this thread, your previous one, and the linked articles. We don't know you. We can't write you a custom guide on this subject, and honestly I don't know what a custom guide would look like. The process is different for everyone.

The advice to finish your degree and start a blog are both solid. I'd also suggest getting a cheap engine to make your own in-game dialogue. Neverwinter Nights can be purchased very cheaply these days and it comes with the Aurora Toolset. It will take you all of a few hours to learn how to make a quick background, set up a character and give that character dialogue interactions with the player.

4. You write every day. Even when you don't want to write. Because I guarantee when a deadline is looming over your head your boss isn't going to say "Yeah it's cool, man. Whenever" when you tell him you "Just don't feel it today."

You will write a lot of crap. Every now and again you'll write something with potential. Polish that and start building a portfolio. Short fiction, screenwriting, and short game demos are great portfolio pieces for a game writer.

5. Writers have some of the worst chances. Most companies do not hire on staff writers and the concept of having someone dedicated to the craft of game writing is still very new.

6. No. You have nothing to show them, for one. Take a look at this little personal inventory I adapted from a freelance writing blog for other reasons why you're not ready yet.

7. Good.

8. On staff positions for writers are few and far between. Off the top of my head I can name maybe five companies that hire more than one writer to work on site as an employee, not an independent contractor. I'm sure there are more, but you're closing yourself off to a lot more opportunities if you're not willing to freelance.

9. Again I agree with Tom. This shouldn't be a question for you at all. Write stories because you need to write stories. Write stories because you feel empty if you don't. Write stories because you have an honest desire to improve your craft.

I know this is probably a bit harsh (and also my first post to this forum in... quite a long time!) but I hope you appreciate the practical advice we're trying to give you. It's your dream, yes. And that's a wonderful thing. But the only way to accomplish your goals is to start making realistic steps toward your future.
Courtney Keene
Game Writer
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